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Compliance Updates

NIGC Announces Departure of Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer

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NIGC Announces Departure of Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer

 

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced the resignation of E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, as the chairman of NIGC, effective Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

Simermeyer, confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2019, led the Agency through unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic. During this time, the Agency helped set the regulatory conditions for a multi-year, post-pandemic recovery, where Indian gaming gross revenues rose to a record $40.9B last year. Prior to his tenure as chairman, Simermeyer served with NIGC as associate commissioner and director of the Office of Self-Regulation since 2015.

Reflecting on his time at the Agency, Simermeyer said, “I’ve witnessed firsthand how tribes across the Indian gaming industry have pursued economic sustainability through gaming by relying on – and cultivating – the robust regulatory reputation for which Indian gaming is well known, and made better when supported by effective and efficient measures by Indian gaming’s regulators. I’m proud of the integral part this Agency has played in meeting the challenges of an evolving industry, and encouraged that NIGC’s strong cadre of professionals will continue to work hand-in-hand with gaming operations to ensure tribal gaming remains primarily for the benefit of its citizens as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) mandated 35 years ago.”

From day one, Simermeyer established industry integrity, preparedness, outreach, and Agency accountability as strategic goals for the Agency, leading NIGC through a period of growth and expansion of programs and services available to gaming tribes.

Under Simermeyer’s leadership, the Agency took steps to grow its capacity to provide outreach, training and technical assistance to gaming tribes, notably formalizing its Environmental Public Health and Safely (EPHS) program to assist tribes with overall operational preparedness, and expanding the Agency’s ability to provide cybersecurity technical assistance as the industry faced emerging threats from cybercrimes, including NIGC’s first Chief Information Security Officer. His “3 for 35” campaign for workforce preparedness, aimed at building regulatory capacity to future-proof tribal gaming, was also an Agency signature outreach effort during his tenure.

NIGC’s efficient and effective approach to regulation was driven by its formalized, collaborative tribal consultation process, where over the past three years, the Agency published eight final rules to keep pace with changing regulatory conditions and industry best practices, while allowing tribes the maximum flexibility allowed under IGRA to pursue efficiencies intended to help operations grow and thrive. To further strengthen its compliance and oversight functions, the Agency also rolled out the “Report a Violation” tool on its website to allow for reporting suspected IGRA violations. NIGC also provided important clarity in the wake of industry-wide questions arising from emerging topics such as significant court decisions on sports betting, the impact of cannabis on licensing and the use of gaming revenue, and the independence of tribal gaming regulatory bodies.

Simermeyer also positioned the Agency as a lead collaborator with federal agencies and organizations similarly dedicated to the success of tribal gaming. NIGC’s annual multiagency Cybersecurity Symposium, Anti-Money Laundering/Banking Security Act (Title 31) regulatory training conference and ongoing partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to prevent human trafficking, are all examples. He also led the Agency to pursue memoranda of understanding with federal agencies like the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, to promote a shared interest in researching the impacts of lending to tribes engaged in gaming and facilitating tribal access to capital.

Focusing on Agency operations, Simermeyer led the Agency through a multi-year IT security modernization plan to improve NIGC’s internal cybersecurity and resilience. Additionally, he transformed the Agency’s Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Audit program to better align with FBI requirements. As another step towards transparency and accountability, the Agency reimagined its fiscal annual report to better tell the story of its commitment to preserve and protect Indian gaming under IGRA, and the stories of the employees behind it. Perhaps most important, under Simermeyer’s leadership, the Agency achieved a 91% employee satisfaction rating on the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), making the NIGC one of the best places to work in the federal government.

On transitioning to the next stage of his career, Simermeyer is grateful for his nearly nine years with the Agency. “My time with NIGC has been some of the most memorable and impactful years of my career. As a Native person, I’m truly blessed to have been surrounded by experts dedicated to protecting and preserving the valuable resource Indian gaming represents for our communities. I’m thankful for the advice and counsel of my fellow commissioners and NIGC staff, and the support and hard work of the nearly 5,000 tribal regulators who work alongside NIGC day-in and day-out to keep Indian gaming strong now, and for the next 35 years,” said Simermeyer.

Additional details regarding the transition will be forthcoming.

California

California Gambling Control Commission Approves Key Licensing Decisions Amid Regulatory Updates

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The California Gambling Control Commission held a significant meeting on April 18, 2024, to discuss and decide on various licensing and compliance matters crucial for the operation and regulation of the state’s gambling entities. The California Gambling Control Commission’s agenda was packed with key issues ranging from the renewal of cardroom licenses to the approval of tribal gaming key employees.

A notable decision from the meeting was the approval of the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund Final Report, allowing for the distribution of quarterly license revenue to eligible recipient Indian tribes. This move underscores the California Gambling Control Commission’s ongoing commitment to supporting tribal communities through structured revenue sharing, even as some financial shortfalls were acknowledged.

The California Gambling Control Commission also reviewed several renewal applications for cardroom owner licenses. Noteworthy renewals included Bankers Casino under Old Town Investments Incorporated, Blacksheep Casino Company and Bruce’s Bar and Casino, which were approved with specific conditions related to operational compliance and security protocols.

Another critical area of focus was the licensing of key employees at tribal casinos. Several applications for initial and renewal of key employee licenses were approved, reflecting the California Gambling Control Commission’s stringent oversight in ensuring that individuals in significant casino roles meet the regulatory requirements. These decisions are essential for maintaining the integrity and security of gaming operations within the state.

Additionally, the meeting addressed the renewal and approval of third-party proposition player services, which are vital for cardrooms that do not bank their games. The California Gambling Control Commission approved several of these licenses, highlighting its role in facilitating responsible gambling while ensuring compliance with state laws.

The California Gambling Control Commission’s actions during the April meeting highlight the complex regulatory environment governing the state’s gambling industry and its proactive approach in adapting to new challenges and ensuring fair and safe gambling practices.

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Compliance Updates

GoldenRace, first virtual sports provider certified in Peru

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GoldenRace, first virtual sports provider certified in Peru

 

GoldenRace, global provider of award-winning Virtual Sports and betting solutions, has recently received the certification for its Virtual Sports product in the Peruvian market.

At the beginning of the present year (February 2024), GoldenRace was registered in the country’s regulator portal, as well as obtained three certifications for Retail, Online and the Jackpot progressive award.

More specifically, the company, which already is the Virtual Sports provider leader in the Latin American market, certified 13 of its games for the retail sector and 21 for the online sector.

It is the first time we certified our Jackpot and also some games such as our newest Crash game, Fire Crash; the penalty-based football game, Penalt2Win; and some classics like Perfect6, Spin2Win American and Spin2Win American Royale.

“This certification process is a clear commitment of the company with the Peruvian market, where we have been focused for a long time now, creating specific products and working locally to give players a premium product they like. This certification is just one more step to keep being leaders in the country,” said Martin Wachter, GoldenRace’s CEO and Founder.

GoldenRace already has some outstanding numbers in Peru’s betting industry, working with 90% of the Retail market (over 6,200 units) and all the major Online operators.

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Compliance Updates

Galaxsys Attains Game Certification in Peru

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Galaxsys Attains Game Certification in Peru

 

Galaxsys continues to expand in Latin America with Peruvian Games Certifications. 

Galaxsys, a well-known games studio in the gaming industry in the fast and skill games vertical, revealed today further global games certification in the Latin American market of Peru.

The games certified for the Peru market include Blackjack, Crash, HiLo, Keno, Penalty, Rocketon, Cash Show, Crasher, and GoldenRA.

Latin America is a growth market for Galaxsys and its broader portfolio of instant, crash, mines, and Plinko games, which are preferred by players who enjoy quick wins. 

Hayk Sargsyan, CEO of Galaxsys, commented: “We are thrilled our games are certified in Peru. This addition of the Peruvian market jurisdiction is now part of a long list of regulated markets in Europe and Latin America, where our games are available. The recent attendance at the trade SAGSE show has successfully delivered new operator partners and a robust inquiry pipeline as Peru, Colombia, and Asia markets are generating incredible growth opportunities for us from tier 1 and local operators alike.

We thank the relevant regulatory bodies for their trust in our commitment to high security, quality standards, and responsible gaming as we continue to make our games available in additional regulated markets.”

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